Published on Apr 28, 2012
This work is something I wanted to do for a long time. I was thinking of how much some species of animals were involved in the conception of the whole set of basic parkour techniques. In fact, the first generation's traceurs claimed themselves to be influenced by animals and said in interviews they used to watch documentaries about monkeys and felines to get inspired.
Anyway, they didn not explain in details how animals had inspired them, and the way they used what they saw in their trainings then. But we could possibly think some techniques were directly copied from the animals, which is quite interesting.
We know David Belle and his father are the ones that conceptualised parkour, but it could be interesting to think about what inspired them to do so. Of course, we also know Georges Hébert and his "natural method" was a huge source of inspiration for them. But animals, due to their conditions of living (eat or being eaten: hunt animals in order to have anything to eat; escape from its predators to survive), have always had to move this way, and developped the most powerful, precise, fast, controled and fluent moves, with only one thing in mind: efficience. Efficience being actually what their subsistence depends on. But they not only move perfectly efficiently, but also develop their training methods (little cats and monkeys learn by playing) to improve their techniques. So we have quite a lot of reasons to be interested in watching and studying them. We could, by watching them, find new techniques, improve the ones we already use, and even improve our training methods. Animals don't practice parkour -which is a human concept- but survival. But their daily survival challenge makes them become pionners in efficient displacement, which is maybe the greatest opportunity we ever had to learn about it.
Open your eyes and turn on your brain: animals have a lot of things to teach us.
"Origins of parkour" is a 4 episodes video series by L'1consolable.
"Episode 1: The monkeys".
Directing, editing, and music: L'1consolable.
Images sources: Arkive.org; BBC; National Geographic; Visive productions; and some other people that took the time to film these animals.
A big thanks to everyone that filmed and produced these beautiful images.
For the next episodes, subscribe to: www.youtube.com/user/l1consolable